INSIDE AN AMERICAN CASTLE

December 06, 2018 at 5:00 am

Come with us to the Hudson Valley to the estate of John D. Rockefeller, once the wealthiest man in modern history.

Aired on December 5, 2018. 

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>>> JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER THE
WEALTHIEST MAN IN MODERN HISTORY
LIVED IN A HOME BUILT FOR A
KING.
SITTING UP ON THE HILL WITH
SPRAWLING GARDENS, FOUNTAINS AND
SCULPTURES IT BELONGED TO THE
ROCKEFELLER FAMILY FOR
GENERATIONS, BUT TODAY THIS
HUDSON VALLEY TREASURE IS A
PLACE WHERE VISITORS ARE
WELCOME.
HERE'S A LOOK.
§§
>> THIS IS THE HOME TO THE
ROCKEFELLER FAMILY.
THERE WERE FOUR GENERATIONS TO
HAVE LIVED IN THIS HOME AND IT
WAS CONSIDERED THE FAMILY SEAT
FOR JOHN DAVISON ROCKEFELLER SR.
THE WORD KAIKA MEANS LOOKOUT OR
OVERLOOK AND IT'S FITTING
BECAUSE WE ARE ON THE TOP OF THE
HILL.
WE SIT 500 FEET ABOVE THE SEA
LEVEL AND IT'S A PERFECT AREA
FOR A HOME.
THE GARDENS ARE GARDENS THAT YOU
MIGHT FIND IN AN ITALIAN VILLA.
THE ORIGINAL BUILDING WAS IN
1909 WHEN THE FAMILY MOVED IN.
WITH A PEDIMENT RIGHT BELOW THE
ROOF.
WITHIN THAT PEDIMENT SIT TWO
LARGE FIGURES.
ONE BEING APOLLO, THE GOD OF THE
ARTS AND THE OTHER BEING THE
GODDESS OF AGRICULTURE AND THAT
WAS A SYMBOL OF UNITY BETWEEN
NATURE AND CULTURE.
SOMETHING THAT THIS ESTATE WAS
MEANT TO EMBODY.
TWO IMPORTANT ARCHITECTS THAT WE
HAD WORKING ON THIS HOME.
ONE BEING CODMAN WHO WAS
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INTERIORS OF
THIS HOME.
WILLIAM BOSWORTH CREATED ALL OF
THE GARDENS THAT YOU WOULD SEE
THROUGHOUT THIS ESTATE.
THE ONES THAT SURROUND THE HOUSE
ARE MUCH MORE FORMAL AND THE
FURTHER OUT YOU GO, THE FURTHER
YOUR EYE LOOKS THEY BECOME MORE
INFORMAL AND GRADUATE INTO THE
LANDSCAPE.
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER JR. WAS THE
ONE WHO PUT A LOT OF CLASSICAL
SCULPTURE ON THE GROUND.
THIS IS THE LARGEST FOUNTAIN WE
HAVE ON THIS ESTATE.
IT WAS PLACED HERE IN 1913.
IT WAS FASHIONED AFTER THE
OCEANA YOU'D FIND IN FLORENCE,
ITALY.
OCEANA BEING THE KING OF THE
RIVER GODS COMMANDING THE SEATED
FIGURES TO POUR FORTH WATER IN
THE OCEANS.
THERE ARE THREE FIGURES THERE,
THEY REPRESENT THE RIVERS OF THE
OLD WORLD, AND THE REASON IT WAS
PLACED IN THE EAST LOOKING TO
THE WEST IS BECAUSE WE ARE GOING
TO LINK THE HUDSON RIVER, THE
RIVER OF THE NEW WORLD TO THE
RIVERS OF THE OLD WORLD.
NELSON ALDRIDGE ROCKEFELLER WAS
THE GRANDSON OF JOHN D.
ROCKEFELLER SR.
HE RESIDED HERE AS THE THIRD
GENERATION OF FAMILY AND WHAT HE
GAVE TO THIS ESTATE WAS
SCULPTURE AND ART.
WE HAVE FIVE ART GALLERIES IN
THE DOWNSTAIRS AREA OF THIS HOME
FILLED WITH MODERN ART.
WE HAVE MORE THAN 70 PIECES OF
OUTDOOR SCULPTURE ALONE RANGING
FROM HENRY MOORE TO NUGUCCI.
HE WAS PASSIONATE ABOUT ART.
A GREAT COLLECTOR OF THE ARTS.
AND HE CONSIDERED HIMSELF AN
ENVIRONMENTAL ARTIST AND BY THAT
HE MEANT HE WAS GOING TO STUDY
THE ENVIRONMENT, FIND WHERE THE
BEST LOCATION FOR EACH OF HIS
OUTDOOR PIECES WOULD BE SO THAT
SCULPTURE WOULD ENHANCE NATURE
AND IN TURN NATURE WOULD ENHANCE
THAT PIECE OF SCULPTURE.
TRIANGULAR SURFACE AND FACE BY
THE ARTIST MAX BILL, IT IS SET
AT THE END OF THE ROSE PROVOLA.
IT'S AS IF IT'S A TELESCOPIC
VIEW OF THE HUDSON.
THE INNER GARDEN IS FLANKED BY
TWO SUNKEN GARDENS.
WHEN NELSON LIVED HERE HE HAD
EXCHANGED THE SUNKEN GARDENS AND
HE PUT IN SUNKEN SWIMMING POOLS
WHICH MAKES THE PIECE THAT HE
PUT IN BETWEEN THE TWO POOLS
PERFECTLY SITUATED.
THE SCULPTURE LOOKS AS IF SHE'S
GOING TO JUMP INTO THE WATER AND
WHEN NELSON LIVED HERE SHE COULD
HAVE.
NELSON ROCKEFELLER WANTED
EVERYBODY TO ENJOY WHAT HE HAD
ENJOYED THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE.
SO HE PUT IN HIS WILL THAT WHEN
HE PASSED AWAY THIS HOME WOULD
BE GIVEN TO THE NATIONAL TRUST
AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION ALONG
WITH 87 ACRES SURROUNDING THIS
ESTATE THAT WOULD BE OPEN TO THE
PUBLIC AND TOURS WOULD BE GIVEN

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, and Judy and Josh Weston.

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